randomadical isn’t a word. i just sometimes get tired of just using the word random because it’s probably in 1/4 of my blog posts.  so i made up a new word.  and also i’m skipping capital letters right now.  not sure if that’ll stay for the entire post.  we’ll see.

this made me laugh yesterday…someone’s first week of working at Target.  seriously just click on it. do it.

i am loving my bullet journal.  it’s seriously addicting and so helpful for developing habits.  i might dedicate a whole blog post to it soon.  stay tuned.

also am intrigued by this technique for cleaning pots and pans… anyone tried it yet?

i may perhaps talk about this candle every single fall, but it’s worth the words…i haven’t tired of it yet, and i think i’ve been repurchasing Aunt Sadie’s apple pie candle for over ten years now.  best fall scent there is.  worth every penny.

I found this motherhood advice on a blog and it made me so thankful that someone once told me- ‘just be excited to see them every single day’.  Also- I remember feeling bad for my babies that I didn’t constantly chatter on at them about everything and nothing.  But after awhile I realized that it was okay to just be me.  “In the early days, I wish someone would have told me, “Calm down, sister.” As a new mom, I tried really hard to nail parenting. I may or may not have created a Power Point of masterpiece art with developmentally appropriate talking points for my infant. At the time I thought, “I’m not good at small talk. And you are supposed to constantly talk to infants to stimulate their vocabulary, right?” I didn’t want to miss opportunities for enrichment or growth.  If I were parenting anew, I would know to lean in. Be brave in the silence, love is enough. Just light up when they enter the room. That is all.” Written by Sara Laurel, on Design Mom blog.

in other news…I discovered that a Twix spread exists…think nutella but without the hazelnuts (which i despise) and add caramel and cookie bits?!?!?  Are you kidding me??  However, sadly it looks like its only available in the UK.  sad.  So sabrina, if you’re reading, try it for me!

i would love one of these twirly dresses for maya…but alas, i need a sale.  she has actually been requesting dresses these days, i fear soon that’s all she’ll tolerate.  so i’m pushing through the tears some days to make sure she won’t say no to jeans forever.  i don’t know how much longer i have.  she likes to twirl.

one of my favorite artists/companies (Rifle Paper Co) is having a little sale…if my husband had a job and i could order something, i’d love to grab this sweet little ice-cream print for maya’s room.  but there’s not really any decor in her room right now bc she takes everything off the walls so i’m not too pressed. ha.  for now, i’m using some of the wrapping paper/cards as inspiration for paintings…thinking fall and winter motifs.  so far i’ve painted the first coat of five different canvases.  let’s hope i keep going.

and that’s all folks.  sending a big shout out to my husband who just whisked the boys off on an adventure so i can enjoy a little quiet time while maya naps.  you’re the best, barty!



goodbye summer

It’s the last day of August and I’m not sure how I got here.  Today I stared out the window as our pool closed (I know, it’s early- I blame the ban on swimming after surgery) and wondered how in the world summer is gone.  I think it was just yesterday that I was writing up schedules and chore charts and ordering boardies and swimsuits to wear endlessly through the glorious season of summer.

I slept in almost every single day this summer.  I’m memorializing this because it was indeed one of the grandest things that happened.  Sure, I could recount all the wonderful memories of the last few months, but I have photos for that.  What I don’t have any record of is the fact that I got to sleep in A LOT.  I love sleep, possibly more than most other things.  Just bein’ honest.

This week is so weird.  My parents left on Sunday and it was sad to see them go, as always, but less painful this time because we know we’ll get to be with them in a few months.  Then yesterday our two boys went to the hospital for umbilical hernia repairs- something they were born with and had been on our radar to fix- but was pushed up quickly when we realized we don’t know how our insurance will look next month.  They did great…Regan actually much more chill than Josiah, but given their personalities, it actually wasn’t quite a shock.  And a day later, Jos still walks like an old man, hunched over with a grimace, while Regan is running around like lunatic and has to be reminded he just had surgery 24 hours ago- chill out.  Alas.

And then today I stared at the school supply lists, so thankful I had decided to tackle them early and everything we needed was downstairs, but it hit me that school is starting- next week?!  Part of me isn’t ready at all to give up this freedom, and part of me is so ready to embrace a schedule and routines.  I mean, I haven’t quite set up the homework station or anything crazy like that, but at least I’m half there, in my mind.

I’m sure all of you are wondering how my grand sticker system and schedule worked out…ok, I know probably not one of you remembered I actually did that.  I’ll be honest, I pinned every paper on our bulletin board, explained the whole dealio to the boys and pretty much the only thing I used all summer was the sticker system and not very regularly.  The schedule was completely pointless in the end because I realized, the whole point of summer is to not follow a schedule and it turns out, I’m really good at that.  We swam when we wanted to, beached it when we felt like it, snuggled up and watched movies whenever, had friends over, tackled special activities, baked, shopped…nothing was particularly scheduled and I loved it.  I love not having to be anywhere at any certain time.

But all good things must end for a time, right?  I can look forward to next summer- where I won’t bother with a schedule but I might try another sticker chart.

Currently I’m resisting the urge to remove all hints of spring/summer that cover my home at the moment…but soon, I will be quieting the place (I stole that from The Nester) and getting my mind ready to embrace the Fall.  I love sitting in bare, undecorated rooms for a few days…it builds up my anticipation and creativity.  I know, I’m weird.

So long summer.  It’s been an especially good one this year.  Thank you.

I’ll leave you with my all-time favorite pic of the summer…


…in case you’re wondering- thats husband, son, my dad, and son. *crying w laughter*

it’s taking a long time til my birthday

What started over 3 months ago as a little whiney “it’s taking a long time til my birthday” has become a full blown joke in our house, used for anything and everything we have to wait for.  As soon as Josiah celebrated his birthday, Regan couldn’t help but focus on his…which wasn’t coming for 3 long months.  Poor kid.  It’s gonna be like this forever- he has to wait the entire summer, every single year.  Luckily for him, this year…we celebrated almost a week early just because we could.

Happy 5th Birthday Regan Ocean!  I can’t believe you are my kid, you special little human.  You’ve had quite a year.  What I thought would start out with school turned into some sweet mommy-son bonding for a few more months until you decided you were ready to try school again.  What I love is the way you know when you’re ready…for anything.  From school to the diving board, to dressing yourself and going potty…it’s all in your very own timing.

I love your bright eyed giant smile face…I love your sad, shy ‘be careful with my heart’ face.  I love the way you greet people when they walk through our doors- like they are famous- like they are the most special people ever.  You know how to make people feel loved and appreciated.  I love listening to you encourage your siblings, at even the smallest of tasks like brushing teeth or putting garbage in the trash.  I love the way you lead Maya into all sorts of fun but then you can follow Josiah just as well.  I love how you’ll never turn down a kiss.  I love all your cuddles and your quirks…how you wear your t-shirts backwards and always go commando.  I love how excited you get when I bring home groceries and how you exclaim “this is just what I always wanted” even when it’s just goldfish crackers or the same yogurt I always buy.  It’s like each day, each hour can hold something fresh and new in your mind…and it’s such a special way to live.  I am learning from you- to look at each day and each experience as one to be cherished.  You are such a joy, kiddo.

I’ve really enjoyed watching you blossom as you asked to return to school later last fall, and loved listening to the little things you picked up.  You are such a parrot, it’s incredible.  I love the way you call people “babes” just because that’s what your daddy calls you…and I love watching you make people giggle, just by being you.  Your dancing is incredible…your voice and memory with song lyrics is seriously bomb…and since I finally succumbed to the inevitable and you are getting a drum set, guitar and microphone for your 5th birthday, I can’t wait to see what happens.  Music is in your bones and I’m so excited to see where God takes you in it.  You are a worshiper, it’s undeniable.

You are my only favorite morning person and I love starting my days with you Reegs.  Cheers to many more years of cuddles and giggles and being the loudest person in the world.  I love you to pieces!!



lost but not found

Well…since the last time I blogged, I’ve lost a kidney stone, Josiah lost a tooth, Maya lost her fro and Bart lost his job.  It’s been quite a month, if I do say so myself.

About two weeks ago, I felt a stomach ache coming on and by the middle of the night I was convinced it was appendicitis and decided to drive myself to the ER (it was easier than waking the kids and taking everyone there).  So there I sat at 4am, waiting for a CT scan and drinking way too many liquids to prepare for it, staring at a wall and trying to overhear the latest ER staff drama.  I declined pain meds just in case I needed to drive back home due to a false alarm, so those 4 hours went by v.e.r.y s.l.o.w.l.y.  However, when the dr. finally returned with my results- I got rushed out there faster than ever, which was great.  So yes, a kidney stone was causing some lovely pain…not as bad or the same as 15 years ago when I had one, which is why I didn’t realize I was passing another kidney stone…but awful enough.  I drove myself to the pharmacy and by that time I was a tad hunched over and probably looked dire enough that the pharmacist filled my pain med prescription in record time and I was climbing into my bed soon after…where I frequented often for the next week.  All’s well now.  Phew.

Josiah lost a tooth yesterday, one that he’s been wiggling for soooooo long.  I was dreading it because I have a horrible record as tooth fairy performer…as in I’m pretty sure the last one he lost (he’s lost at least 8 teeth already) I said just leave on the counter because the tooth fairy isn’t psyched on using stairs.  hehe.  Anyway, after enduring a painfully over-televised swimming olympic evening I flopped into bed so exhausted, which of course, turned into laying awake for over an hour… but thankfully about 45 minutes in I remembered my tooth fairy deeds and sprinted downstairs to find a prize.  I settled on two dollars- way more than we’ve ever given but I was tired and didn’t want to search for coins.  A minute later I found myself arm deep under my son’s head and his giant stuffed bear that duels as his pillow.  My heart pounding as I literally was moving his head around to find the baggy containing his tiny tooth…and thought perhaps I’d just say the tooth fairy had changed his policy and was now leaving teeth as memorabilia.  Finally, my fingers hit plastic and I made the switcheroo flawlessly- for the FIRST TIME EVER.  Upon returning to bed, I had to text someone and get some props…my sister is always good for a nice pat on the back- I got my gold medal.

I’ve been staring at my dearest daughter’s head for a few weeks now, knowing I needed to make a change…the crazy freestyle fro was slowly turning into matted dreads and whole flattened areas- a disaster.  After spending 45 minutes massaging her scalp with several different conditioners and moisturizers and brushing through every last strand, I bit the bullet and went for pig tails.  I’ve always felt like I had some freedom with her hair because it’s different than full blown African American hair- it is softer and looser- hence why I’ve not inducted her into the bonding time that is mother/daughter hair care.  But this week I realized it’s gotta happen.  I cannot let her hair go free anymore.  It’s not right.  Soon enough I will find someone who can tackle braids or something fancy, but for now this just means enduring tears on the regular, perhaps from us both.

And last but not least…my dearest husband is now unemployed.  I’m sure most of you just skipped through the rest of this post (how rude! jk) so I’ll get right to it.  Bart’s company offered him a promotion this week, which included a move to North Carolina…super exciting, shocking, but very generous.  His job is how God moved us out to NJ four years ago and has been such an amazing gift to our family for the last 8 years but we clearly heard God prompting us to say no to this incredible offer.  In effect, this meant there wasn’t a job left for Bart anymore.  We feel such a peace about the decision and are so grateful for His leading…it’s exciting to see what’s next and so far, we are feeling really good.  We have no idea what’s next…no clue…we fully believe that just because God said no to NC with Ivy doesn’t mean He couldn’t say yes to some other place, but who knows?!   We are very expectant and feeling lots of grace to trust Him in this right now.  Pray for us, and for Bart to find a job…it’s kinda important in this day and age. Until then, I’m really really enjoying having him around all day, err day.

I couldn’t think of anything Regan’s lost, which is why I left him out of this post.  He is praying daily for his teeth to fall out, which I keep trying to explain will happen in their own time…alas.  He just wants the treats. I’m not sure I can keep going with this tooth fairy mirage- I get overwhelmed thinking about how many teeth are going to fall out in the next ten years.  Oh dear.  Could I create a tooth fairy house?  Put your tooth in there and in the morning, check it…it’s where she sleeps and since she’s overworked, it’s kinder to just leave it at her house instead of making her fly to us every time.  Yeah?  And I know what some of your are thinking…we don’t do santa or the easter bunny…how’d the tooth fairy weasel in?  Five words:  my dad is a dentist.

we found dory

OMG.  I figured it would be fun to write a follow-up post to describe how awesome last night was.  Josiah might have asked when Brielle (our babysitter) was coming, about 50 times yesterday so needless to say we were very ready to go at 6pm when she rolled in to watch Maya for the evening.

As we parked, the boys asked if this was a movie theatre…the great part is that the one we chose is under construction so there were only 4 movies showing and only a small crowd to weave through.  After spending too much on popcorn (and the boys in awe of the snack bar) we headed in to theatre two, only to be surprised that it had already been redone and we scored the sweet recliner seats!!

It was the cutest, from the moment we walked in 15 minutes early… the boys were enamored with the giant screen and kept looking at us and each other in amazement.  So fun.  I handed out their treat bags and popcorn and the trailers began.  This is the only part that was annoying…who thinks Ghost Busters and Finding Dory compare?!  I mean, seriously?  Poor Jos literally turned his head and closed his eyes through the whole thing and I distracted Regan for most of that preview.  Lame.

But from then on…it was awesome.  Regan squealed with sheer delight the first time he saw Dory on screen and Josiah couldn’t ever take his eyes off the screen, for almost the entire movie.  And the movie is SO GOOD.  As in, laugh-out-loud, sweet, great story line, clean, adorable AMAZING.  The new characters are awesome…I had gotten a few of them in stuffed animal versions for the boys last week, so they were excited to see them “in real life”. Ha.

When the credits rolled, I told Bart we had to wait because there was probably a little show at the end, but wasn’t sure since the credits took a long time…so we thought we’d just go but that’s when Regan bursts into tears.  “I. don’t. want. to. go” he exclaimed very loudly and I didn’t exactly blame him.  It was an epic night…who would want that to end?  So we stayed a little longer because he really wanted to keep watching.  And sure enough, at the very very very end the old characters from Finding Nemo show up- it was quick but cute.  And then he reluctantly but willingly stood up and we walked out.

I’m so glad we waited to take the boys to their first movie until this one.  It was perfect.  They are at great ages (4 and 6) to really appreciate the experience as a special incredible adventure…and the bonus was that I really enjoyed the movie just as much as the kiddos.  Of course, I loved the way their eyes sparkled at the excitement of it all and that definitely made it a memory we’ll never forget.

Ok. I’m going a little over the top now.  But if you knew how much our kids have been obsessed with Finding Nemo then you’d know- over the top is the only way we’d be with it’s sequel.

*terrible photos but we were loving it so much i almost forgot to take any… oh well!

movie 2movie


finding dory and other stuff

I admit, I’m a bad blogger these days.  Perhaps its the summer or perhaps its just a phase of life where I don’t feel inspired to type on a computer screen…who knows.  I don’t feel too bad about it, so that’s good.

I am currently very very excited that a big day has arrived in the Farrell house.  We are taking our boys to their very first movie theatre experience tonight!  We hired a babysitter for Maya because we wanted to be able to really enjoy this outing to see Finding Dory.  All my kids have been obsessed with Finding Nemo at one point or another, and it’s so perfect that their first theatre trip is going to see the sequel.  They already own a few of the new characters- stuffed animal-wise- and a couple sticker books too, so they are well versed in the new names that will be included in Finding Dory.  I’ve already made little treat bags and we even plan on buying popcorn there- even if it’s ridiculously overpriced and terribly unhealthy…they need the whole experience!!

I am also two weeks into our summer and really enjoying it.  Our schedule has not stuck whatsoever but that’s because I didn’t count on the boys sleeping in, so I’m gonna wait another week and see where we land.  The chore/sticker chart however, is grand.  They are almost up to 15 stickers which equals a trip to the store for a toy- it took them about 2 weeks, so I think it’ll work out great for the summer.  We rarely visit stores for toys, but the boys discovered this phenomenon when Bart wisely added that incentive to their dentist visits this year.  So now, they get it.

I am also gearing up to start bullet journaling.  Anyone ever heard of it?  Apparently it’s pretty popular, just ask pinterest or instagram…but I just decided to jump on board- mostly for the habits tracker portion.  I have kept a health journal for the last six months to track each workout, each different diet I try, weight/inches lost, verses and encouragement I receive along this journey to lost 100 pounds and it’s been truly amazing to look back and see the progress so I am inspired to keep track of other things in my life in a similar way.  My journal  arrives today!

I started back up in a book club again and am really enjoying it.  I chose last month’s book and it was a winner- phew!!  Lilac Girls is seriously one of the best books I’ve read in a loooooong time.  It is a WW2 book, but with 3 different women’s perspectives and is unlike any other book from that time period in my opinion.

Our pool is proving to be the best place for us this summer.  I am learning lots of different workouts to use in the water and the kiddos will spend all day out there if we let them.  Last Saturday I think we ate every meal out there and when I took a shower that evening, i literally felt like I was floating.  Perhaps a bit too much time in the pool.  ha!  I finally found a sun hat (it’s this one except blue) that will fit my head (which is large) and even though it’s not a pretty straw hat or an ugly canvas one, it works well enough and I don’t look like a 70 year old tourist in my own pool. Thanking God for the little things.

I am proud to say I finally used my label maker (that I  bought circa 2010) to complete an activity corner for my kiddos.  And this morning I came down from sleeping in (the most glorious part of this summer!) to Josiah and Regan happily playing away with two different bins and even better…when they were done, they put them away without a single reminder.

Ok. Gotta run.  Apparently my daughter has become obsessed with tooth paste and I need to rescue her from whatever happens when one eats too much.  Alas.  Don’t worry, I sent Josi up to stop her while I wrote this last sentence.

fill in the blank friday

1. When I get a day to myself I like to sleep in…drink my coffee without kids climbing on me…head to the beach with a good book or magazine…watch netflix in bed and eat take out. and pie.

2. High school was fun!  I don’t have any regrets- it was easy and holds good memories.

3. A little dream I have is to be able to paint amazing paintings just because.

4. A big dream I have is to lose 70 more pounds.

5. If I could drive any car my pick would be a Subaru legacy…just like my old one.

6. A time that I felt really happy was when our pool opened last weekend and it really felt like summer was beginning.

7. Tomorrow I will be waking up NOT EARLY.  I will be sleeping in because it’s saturday!!!